Desktop Music Production for PC

Authors: Steve Maclean, Michael Bierylo, David Mash | Course Code: OLMSC-102

Gain all the knowledge you need to produce great-sounding recordings of your music. Even if you begin this course with little or no understanding of desktop production, you'll end it with a quality master recording ready for CD or MP3! Let accomplished musician, sound designer and Berklee professor Michael Bierylo guide you through the challenges of setting up your own home studio, sampling, basic audio mixing, and more. With hands-on lessons and projects, you'll master concepts like digitization, signal flow, multi-tracking, equalization, signal processing, MIDI, and everything you need to turn your PC into a virtual multitrack studio.

And, receive a special educational discount on Reason 7 and SONAR X3 Studio Edition.

Upon completing this course, you will have learned to:

Choose the right tools to produce your own musicPlan and configure home studio hardware componentsDevelop musical ideas using MIDI and digital audio softwareEdit and create your own synthesizer soundsUse samples and sample loops in a variety of musical settingsMix multitrack audio projectsUnderstand and use standard audio effectsMake a final master of an audio project suitable for distribution

Berklee Online and Propellerhead have come together to offer an educational discount on the Reason 7. Once you enroll in the course, you will be able to purchase this package at the discounted price through the Required Course Materials link on your My Home page. Early enrollment is encouraged to ensure software delivery prior to the start of the course.

Berklee Online and Cakewalk are offering a special educational discount on SONAR X3 Studio Edition, to all students enrolled in the course. Once you enroll in the course, you will be able to purchase the software at the discounted price through the Required Course Materials link on your My Home page. Early enrollment is encouraged to ensure software delivery prior to the start of the course.

Lesson 1: Introduction to Desktop Production Tools

Music Production ProcessCreating Musical IdeasListening and AnalysisRecordingEditingMixingMasteringMusic Production ToolsSynthesizersMIDI SequencersAudio RecordersProcessorsMixersDesktop Production Project Plan and Toolset

Lesson 2: Signal Flow

Analog Audio Signals and ConnectionsDigital Audio Signals and ConnectionsSignal Flow Between DevicesSetting Up a Virtual StudioMIDI Signal FlowStudio ConfigurationExercise: Configuring Your StudioExercise: Configuring and Testing ReasonExercise: Configuring and Testing SONARDiscussion: Tell Us About Your SetupAssignment: Designing Your Studio

Lesson 3: Introduction to Electronic Music Synthesizers

What's a Synthesizer?Discussion: Shopping for a SynthesizerProperties of SoundPitchExercise: The Oscillator--Signal Generation and PitchTimbreExercise: The Synthesizer FilterLoudnessExercise: The Synthesizer Amplitude EnvelopeVirtual InstrumentsExercise: Loading a Reason PatchExercise: Loading a SONAR PatchDigital SamplersAssignment: Electronic Orchestration

Lesson 4: Introduction to MIDI Sequencing: Patterns and Recording in Reason

MIDI MessagesPatterns in MusicCreating PatternsExercise: Entering a Basic PatternExercise: Adding Accents and Shuffle FeelExercise: Creating VariationsBuilding an Arrangement from PatternsExercise: Sequencing Pattern ChangesExercise: Converting Patterns to a SequenceExercise: Real-Time Recording in Reason--Playing Against a Drum TrackAssignment: Reason Sequencing Project

Lesson 5: MIDI Sequencing Continued

MIDI Sequencing in SONARExercise: The TransportExercise: The Tracks WindowMIDI Sequencing in SONAR, ContinuedExercise: Getting Ready to RecordHow a Sequencer Represents TimeExercise: Bars, Beats, and SubdivisionsReal-Time RecordingExercise: Metronome SettingsReal-Time Recording, ContinuedExercise: RecordingRecord Modes: A Sequencer Is Not a Tape RecorderExercise: Replace and OverdubExercise: Loop RecordingExercise: Step RecordingAssignment: Final Sequencing Project, Part 1

Lesson 6: Editing MIDI Sequences

Editing MIDI SequencesExercise: TempoExercise: KeyExercise: VelocityExercise: Velocity Plug-InExercise: Time DelayExercise: Event-Level EditingExercise: Fixing MistakesExercise: Correcting TimingExercise: Correcting DurationsExercise: Correcting DynamicsExercise: Editing PitchExercise: Cut/Copy/Paste OperationsEditing in the Arrange Window—The SONAR ToolsExercise: Using SONAR's toolsExercise: MIDI Mixing and AutomationAssignment: Final Sequencing Project, Part 2

Lesson 7: Common Mixer Configurations

Discussion: What Makes for a Good Mix?The Reason MixerExercise: Available Mixer ControlsThe SONAR MixerThe Hardware MixerTechnical Issues in MixingAesthetic Issues in MixingAssignment: Mixing in SONARBounce to DiskExercise: Bouncing MIDI Tracks to Audio Files

Lesson 8: Effects Processing, DSP, and Mixing: Part 1

Insert EffectsExercise: Aux Send and Return Effects in SONAR--Set Up a Reverb Send and ReturnOverview of Effects TypesSpectrum Processing: FiltersExercise: EQing the Piano Track, Part 1Spectrum Processing: Filters, ContinuedExercise: EQing the Piano Track, Part 2Spectrum Processing: Filters, ContinuedExercise: EQing the Piano Track, Part 3Spectrum Processing: Filters, ContinuedAssignment: Mix Practice--Adding EQ and Reverb

Lesson 9: Effects Processing: Part 2

Dynamics ProcessingExercise: Compressing the Bass TrackDynamic Processing, ContinuedExercise: GatingTime-Based EffectsExercise: DelayTime-Based Effects, ContinuedExercise: Doubling/Flanging/ChorusReverbExercise: Reverb on the DrumsAssignment: Mix PracticeDiscussion: When Should You Use Effects?Assignment: Final Sequencing Project, Part 3

Lesson 10: Hard-Disk Recording and Editing

Sampling ConceptsOverview of Hard-Disk RecordingHard-Disk IssuesExercise: Bouncing a Mix to DiskNon-Destructive EditingExercise: Defining RegionsExercise: Editing a Song FormDefining Rhythm LoopsExercise: Defining LoopsExercise: Loops and Song TempoDestructive EditingExercise: Cut/Copy/PasteDSPChange Gain vs. NormalizeExercise: Using the Change Gain and Normalize CommandsSilenceExercise: Using the Remove Silence CommandFade In/OutExercise: Using the Fade In/Out CommandsDiscussionAssignment: Final Sequencing Project, Part 4

Lesson 11: Preparing Files for Distribution

Preparing Sequence Files for DistributionExercise: Importing and Exporting Standard MIDI Files with SONARPosting Sequence Files on the WebAudio Distribution FormatsMasteringMastering ToolsExercise: Mastering for CDExercise: Mastering for MP3Exercise: Practice MasteringAudio File Compression OverviewMaking MP3 FilesExercise: Making MP3 Files with MusicMatchDistributing Audio Files via the WebAssignment: Final Sequencing Project--Conclusion

Lesson 12: Final Project Critique and Course Wrap-Up

Final Project DiscussionCourse Wrap-UpDiscussion: What Did You Learn about the Music Production Process?Discussion: Berklee Project ListeningWhere Do You Go From Here?How to Grow Your Basic SetupSuggested Additional Reading

Steve Maclean

Author & Instructor

Steve MacLean is an Assistant Professor in the Electronic Production and Design Department at Berklee College of Music. A guitarist, composer, producer, and engineer, he has been evolving with music technology since the early '80s, when he worked in a New York City recording studio and got hands-on with early versions of the Fairlight CMI, DX-7, Linn Drum, automated mixing consoles, and digital audio samplers. Later, he founded his own recording and production studio and produced/engineered hundreds of artists and numerous award-winning projects including scores for over two hundred commercials and soundtracks as well as a constant prolific artistic output of his own acclaimed works.

An active performer and composer for more than thirty years, he was co-founder of the Portland Experimental Music Collective, has performed original compositions at numerous new music festivals, including several pieces for New Music Across America and similar events. An innovator in the new music circuit, he was curator for a series of concerts "2001 New Music Odyssey," and continues to release recordings internationally on Recommended Records, U.K., and others.

Steve has been a music technology educator both independently and with over 13 years as Berklee College of Music faculty, also previously as a product specialist/clinician with a variety of manufacturers for over 20 years. More than a dozen published CD's of his compositions and recordings are available. Many can be found at www.rermegacorp.com including Expressions On Piano "A rare and quite brilliant record" - Kev Nickells, Freqzine 2011.


Michael Bierylo

Author

For Michael Bierylo, teaching Music Synthesis at Berklee is just one component of an eclectic and highly creative career. From his Virtual Planet studio, he's completed film, video, and multimedia scores for clients like Hasbro Interactive, Nintendo, MSNBC, Nickelodeon, VH1, Martha Stewart Living, and Universal Studios' Islands of Adventure. He's also a guitarist, composer, programmer and sound designer for the uncategorizable new music avatars Birdsongs of the Mesozoic. His solo album Life Line earned four and a half stars from the All Music Guide, and he's a voting member of the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences.


David Mash

Author

Author of nine books and a recognized expert on music technology, David Mash is Vice President for Information Technology at Berklee College of Music. One of Berklee's true innovators, he founded the nation's first music synthesis department, developed the Center for Technology in Music Instruction, and assisted in the design of the country's largest networked music learning facility, the Berklee Learning Center. He has also scored award-winning digital films, and appeared on such programs as Newton's Apple, CBS Evening News, 3-2-1 Contact, and National Public Radio's All Things Considered.

None required

PC Web Browser: Firefox (Recommended), Chrome, Internet Explorer 10 or higherFlash Player: current versionQuickTime: current versionAdobe Reader: current versionSONAR X1 Studio Edition or higher (X3 can be purchased separately, see discount details below)Reason 8 purchased separately, see discount details below:

Berklee Online and Propellerhead have come together to offer an educational discount on Reason 8. Once you enroll in the course, you will be able to purchase this package at the discounted price through the Required Course Materials link on your My Home page. Early enrollment is encouraged to ensure software delivery prior to the start of the course.

Berklee Online and Cakewalk are offering a special educational discount on the required software, SONAR X3 Studio Edition, to all students enrolled in the course. Once you enroll in the course, you will be able to purchase the software at the discounted price through the Required Course Materials link on your My Home page. Early enrollment is encouraged to ensure software delivery prior to the start of the course.

Windows 7 or laterIntel Core 2 Duo E8200 2.67 GHz/AMD Phenom Quad Core 9750 2.4 GHz or higher4 GB RAM or more8 GB free hard disk spaceFree USB port for Ignition Key16-bit windows compatible audio card, preferably with DirectX or ASIO driversMIDI keyboard controllerLow-latency multi-I/O audio hardware recommended
  • Level
  • Duration
    12 weeks
  • 3-Credit Tuition
    $1,449
  • or
  • Non-Credit Tuition Add 6 CEUs
    $1,200 + $25

Winter Term Starts January 12 for Courses and Multi-Course Certificates


Contact an Advisor

Mon.-Thu., 9AM-8PM ET
Fri., 9AM-5PM ET

US: 1-866-BERKLEE
Int'l: +1-617-747-2146


Create an Account

Secure form. Berklee Online will not sell or rent your email address to third parties. Our privacy policy.